For the second year in a row, one of the oldest Fourth of July celebrations in the country will be canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The committee that organizes the annual Fourth of July Celebration in Springfield made the announcement Saturday, March 6, on its Facebook page.
“We are sorry to bring you this news, but must let you all know that the Springfield 4th of July Committee has made the difficult decision to cancel the 4th of July Parade for 2021,” the post read.
The celebration would have been the 106th celebration in the Northern Otsego County town.
The Springfield parade has been canceled three times before. World War II gas rationing caused the parade to be canceled in 1943, a daylong torrential rains resulted in a last-minute cancellation in 2008, and the parade was canceled last year because of the pandemic.
“After much thought, and taking into consideration the ways other area venues will be handling large events this summer by restricting spectators and enforcing social distancing, it was determined that it would be best to continue to postpone the parade and firework display until such a time as it will no longer be necessary to rely on mask wearing and social distance in order to keep our community safe,” the committee said regarding its decision on its Facebook post.
According to the post, Springfield 4th of July Committee Chair Ernie Whiteman announced the decision in an email to committee members on Saturday, saying, ‘I feel it would be irresponsible to hold the parade this year, especially as things look like they are going in the right direction and we may finally be getting a hold on this terrible pandemic.’”
Not all events are canceled, the post said.
“Last year the committee was able to safely and successfully hold a drive-through Brooks’ chicken barbecue sale at the Springfield Community Center on the 4th of July, and plans are in the works to do the same this year.”
The committee is looking ahead to next year.
“The Springfield 4th of July Committee would like to express our deepest gratitude to all of the community members and essential workers who continue to serve others and keep things going during this difficult time. When the parade can safely be held — and we certainly hope and believe that will be next year — the committee looks forward to honoring those people and organizations with a very special parade in Springfield Center, and firework display at Glimmerglass State Park!” the post concluded.